TRX Webinar - 2/14/2024 - Launch in 3: Unveiling a Product in Minutes, Not Months - Spokbee

TRX Webinar - 2/14/2024 - Launch in 3: Unveiling a Product in Minutes, Not Months - Spokbee

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All right. So we'll go ahead and get started. Uh. So First off, good afternoon. I'm Jason Thomas, project engineer here in America. Makes and I'll be your host for today's America makes Tirex webinar series just a little background on the series. Before I introduce our speaker, as America makes continues its mission to expand and accelerate the footprint of additive manufacturing and 3D printing, this medium called the America makes technical review in exchange Webinar series was created by creating this platform.

It allows the additive manufacturing and 3D printing community to come together to share knowledge and experience with the broader community. If you or your team are interested in presenting during the T Rex Webinar series, please navigate to the America makes web page and complete the request form under our membership or events tab. You can also contact the American makes tirex of an Earth series administrator Jason Thomas, directly.

A few important notes before we kick off the series at the end of the presentation, there will be an opportunity for a brief question and answer or Q&A session. If during the presentation you do have a question, please submit it in the Q&A space and I'll ask it during the Q&A session. I will do my best to get all of your answers, your questions answered. Alright, so today's webinar is on launch in three unveiling a product in minutes, not months. So without further ado, it is my pleasure to introduce our speaker, Matt Cameron of Spokey.

Matt Cameron is a driving force behind Spokey, a groundbreaking platform that's redefining the way products are launched in the digital age. With ten years in the tech industry, including application engineering and strategists and teaching design for 3D printing at MIT, his passion for innovation led to the founding of spoke Be Inc, A VC back startup speeding up product development by a factor of 10. Mac will now turn it over to you and your team. Go ahead and take it away. Alright, thank you so much.

I appreciate it. So that was double check that my screen can be shared. Yeah, I think everything looks good. Alright, can you you guys can see the screen? Yes, I can looks good. OK, fantastic. Alright.

Well, thank you so much for having me. We've we've been Members of America makes for about a year and I have enjoyed our time there. A big fan. I've been following America. Makes since the very beginning when I was working over at at Stratus uh about 10 years ago. So thank you for having me and I really look forward to connecting to some of you guys if you guys are interested in learning more.

A little bit more background on me. So again I I was working at strategist applications engineer. I'll go into more of that also had opportunity to start the 1st 30 printing class over at the University of Minnesota and then start and teach the first design for 3D printing class at MIT and I'm constantly asked when I'm, you know, presenting and teaching these classes. Like what is the? What is my favorite thing that I have 3D printed so far and I have to say that it's still this real life size model from my MRI scan 3D printed two scale of my bone structure is kind of creepy. You know, I keep it in the in the back room, but you know, I've I've really just been an admirer of of the technology and have had been fortunate enough to have some really, really cool opportunities like like converting my MRI into a 3D printing model. Umm.

So about about 10 years ago, when I was at strategist that this is this was the look of of our red eye manufacturing facilities. This was the on demand manufacturing. We had a similar facility like this with equal or more machines and as application engineers we were in charge of keeping these machines running consistently. So we were seeing a glimpse of what you know, mass production and different applications we're looking like with 3D printing.

This was about a decade ago, so just kind of going through some of the interesting applications that that I was fortunate enough to see and work on from automotive, you know, bodies that were used in actual cars to break records of, you know, efficiency, seeing the 1st 3D printed Castle, which was about 15 years ago over an Excelsior, MN from very large and very small products. Products, you know, bone structures big, you know, fun display models, a 3D printed gun in which the components, you know, majority of the components were 30 printed and have, you know printed 100 or shot hundreds and hundreds of rounds. Furniture. Medical models, you know, casting molds, robotics, full color, biological products and consumer products.

So I I felt like I had a really amazing opportunity to see and explore and work on different applications that you know and really just learn how they were made, you know, to summarize the benefits of additive manufacturing. I mean, I'm sure. Uh, many of you guys, you know, could could come up with these as well, but it's it's still, you know, for the past decade, design flexibility, rapid prototyping, customization, waste reduction, tool list manufacturing.

And to me, while I was working on these, you know and and application of 3D printing that I've that I really always wanted to see was mass customization. You know, I inability to be able to launch huge amount of customizable products at scale and really just make it easier for for the average, you know designer or the OR company to be able to take advantage of this. So one of the one of the very early. Applications that inspired me to to really know that this was possible was a group called Nervous Systems.

These were a husband and wife out of out of MIT who are doing research, and I created a lot of really interesting software that really inspired me to to see like, wow, this this really is possible, right? And this model we are seeing the modification of a a few slider bars. The model is entirely changing, right? It's got this organic shape, but the whole concept behind this is you could have hundreds of thousands of combinations, trillions of combinations of this product, right? Everything is 3D printable. Everything can be manufactured on demand and you know really with with a little bit more, you know, power behind this. Umm, the price could actually change, you know, in real time. So you have this this ability I I I learned a little bit more about this and and turns out this one.

It is very, very complex to actually launch. It's not as though you know anybody can go in here and launch this. These were, you know, programmed products from scratch. So I did a little bit more research. I was learning about the, you know, the opportunities in the in the field and really wanted to dig into the the design software.

I wanted to learn everything I could about the different design. Software is out there, so that's I was in Boston at the time. I had the opportunity to to teach this design for 3D printing class at MIT, where I would take an A semester long open to anybody in the college, undergraduates, grad students, and we would go through these different technologies and softwares and try to, you know, push them to the limits and see really what was possible with with the design software out here.

So here are a few of the products are are few of the things that some of the designers had had built. We have various technologies and software represented here from generative design software to lattice structuring software to surface modeling to slay cult or clay sculpting software modeling. And you know, the beautiful thing about about additive manufacturing is once you have that file, you can make it real.

And in addition, once you have that file, there are a whole host of of of companies out there that are able to manufacture these products on demand, so. Me and my co-founder Karina, we drew up a really simple kind of structure of of how, you know, a mass customization, you know, marketplace, right. A A way for us to quickly be able to launch products that could be customizable and manufactured on demand, and this was really the foundation of of a spoke bee. You have a 3D model viewer. You have configurable products.

Those products can instantly be, you know, kind of shopped out to manufacturing service bureaus. We can get the price back. You're based on volume. Based on complexity, we can rerender that model, so we get to see that new model and the price you choose the quantity material.

You know, if you want to purchase it, you can purchase it. That goes back to the manufacturing service bureaus to fulfill, and you know that product stops. So that brings us back to where we are today. So spoke we unveiling a product in minutes, not months.

So to start just very briefly. What does that process look like? So we've built out our our team of of speed, CAD, uh experts. So I'm some of the fastest CAD designers in the world, but the first process to essentially be able to launch these products quickly as you've got to have the model, you know when doing configurable models, a solid body CAD system makes it umm very easy to kind of transverse different manufacturing methods. So if you if you're using a software like SolidWorks on shape Fusion 360, something that's giving you solid engineering models, not only can you get prices and manufacture it with 3D printing, but it also lends itself to traditional manufacturing, machining and whatnot.

So being able to design that part and in this case you can kind of barely see it because it's a little blurry here, but adding configuration variables, which means every single dimension in this entire part is 100% defined. We don't. You have any internal geometries are surfaces right? Nothing is designed in a way that can't be manufactured, right? We have certain thicknesses that can be, you know, bided to everything is fully defined.

Having this this model is is the first step in being able to launch this product. You know very quickly the next thing. This is where you know the spy app comes in. We allow for essentially the the direct single point of truth from that CAD model into a system that allows us to price and build out a customer facing storefront on for that. Of being able to choose manufacturing method, choose a couple materials.

Whether those umm you know materials might you might 3D print the the casting and then you know cast it say out of a precious metals choosing the materials and then directly from there we are able to pull the data, pull the volume, pull all of the information that we'll need from that CAD model. You know the the the design is the weight, the dimensions, and then we can automate the creation of the storefront and the pricing based on volume. You know, it certainly gets more complex than this. Not all of them can be launched. Uh, you know in seconds here. But jewelry is a good design.

That actually happens to be quite complex to get you know the dimensions exactly right to fit on your finger as as traditional manufacturing does. But as you see, as we're making modifications, we're able to essentially slide the the material cost, you know right there. So when somebody purchases the product, the manufacturing and fulfillment product start or process starts through one of many service bureaus depending on who is able to do that materials and so forth. And through this process of building, you know, this interface between the cat and the manufacturers and the digital renders and and being able to kind of customize, we actually learned that manufacturers are are losing money every year from a number of things that are software is is really good at solving you know something that wasn't quite obvious when we first started. But you know became obvious after so many manufacturers have all these amazing capabilities, right? Whether it be in house, in 3D printing of certain types, or you know bending and assembly manufacturers have the capability to go directly to consumer, right. There's this whole industry on, you know, drop shipping, for example, right where where these manufacturers are losing out on a little bit of margin by essentially people buying in.

So by building up a Configurator right linked to the engineering software which gives you manufacturing team the information that they need to manufacture a custom product, we can actually reduce reliance on distributors. A lot of a lot of customizable products, and you'll see this in. I would say, you know, uh distributors doing both customized and not is there are there are product catalogs, right, you'll look at a product catalog, it'll give you the details and the specs but it but these product catalogs can only show so much data and I'll I'll talk a little bit more about, you know Ghost products but by having a a product Configurator, we're actually able to have a kind of consistent single point of truth between the engineering files, the things that can be done and product catalogs also you know gaps in need based selections so. If you're looking, you know, maybe through McMaster Carr and you're trying to find, you know, the the perfect thing, right, let's be honest, most likely you'll be able to find it. But every once in a while you might want something cut, you know, just very specifically. And you don't want to go and talk to, you know, salesperson to do this? Umm, you know the specific product that you're looking for that is not represented on, you know, one of these kind of spreadsheet like brochures would be considered a gap in in a product that could be made by the manufacturer but is not displayed.

Also, there's, you know, there's additional, you know, inaccurate quotes when someone's trying to quote a complex combination or or a customer is is talking to a sales guy and says he wants, you know, a a smaller set of casters. So it can fit through something as opposed to a larger set. This this is is a lot of times it's done manually today again a a problem that we didn't foresee being able to solve at the very beginning, but very much our solving now. And then finally just to, you know, delayed product launches, when you have various products kind of all over the place, you know in different intranets or file structures, it can, it can actually be, you know, quite time-consuming to launch new products, get everything organized, get, get manufacturing and everything ready.

So, uh, so, you know, selling custom products, right? A lot of times we're seeing call for quote. You can't see it until after you buy it, right? Engineers don't want to create a 3D render until you you know you pay because it takes them time, right? You get sales people asking for their engineering team to look at it first and you know they don't think that they can do that, but maybe they can do that. But with, you know the the product configurations, you know the single point of truth we're able to give manufacturers a custom portal, real time pricing, single point of truth between engineering and sales data and insights of engagement with a with a product Configurator, something that really can't be done when somebody just downloading a PDF of different different products and configurations.

You know, in fact, we can actually see what people are building and you know, maybe where they get stuck or if they're if you know, if they're configuring a product that just can't be found somewhere else and being able to handle these customizable products quickly by again, streamlining the process from the configuration and the purchase. So a few examples that I'll just quickly share. We have our store lock custom workbenches. They're they're customers can essentially design them, design the shelves themselves. These are, you know, workbenches that you would see, you know, manufacturing shop floors or various things. There are infinite amount of combinations.

However, there is a limited amount of instructions we're able to incorporate all those again within the CAD model and this is essentially a 24/7 sales channel with every single product. As it relates to work benches for store lock with custom pricing and you know modification nice beautiful render and we have elbow racing which does a custom ATV rims, they can launch their products 10 times faster with copies help we were able to organize a lot of the prototyping that ultimately go into billet manufacturing overseas and I do foresee as as additive manufacturing gets better and better and more consistent, let more consistent and less expensive, they will actually be able to launch products directly with 3D printing you know with configurations as the the way to do that. Umm so. So talking a little bit more about, you know, Ghost products. And the configuration.

So taking all of the the store lock models, being able to incorporate rules based modification and linking it directly with the engineering CAD, we can create the work orders and we can essentially create interfaces that are much more engaging and realistic for customers than the online catalog. Again, this acts as a is a digital sales person, but also allows us to launch, you know, products very quickly, right? Once we have the the instructions and the manufacturing limit limitations of store lock manufacturing, you know pulling out the inserts for example is very quick to launch and create another storefront on their site. Umm Alba racing faster product launches? Much better communication and new product line, so I'm I'll show a little bit more about this, but umm to essentially be able to change between a 5 lug and a 6 lug ATV rim, we have different colors between these rims. This Configurator doesn't have a trillion options because these products are manufactured in a very certain way, but displaying all of their products on one just very efficient interface and you know internally to be able to click through customize and be able to prototype for variations. Umm has has been, you know, beneficial for them. OK, so I wanna show just.

Quick couple of demos here. Let's see, I want to make sure that my entire screen is being shared as opposed to just one window. You guys, somebody confirm that you guys can see the Unshaped dock here? Sure, sure can. OK, excellent. Thank you so much.

Umm. OK, so this is our engineering CAD. Again, I would say I'm a, you know, a 7 out of 10 in terms of speed, but my team brings us up to about a 10 out of 10, but I want to show you just a quick interface of.

I'm just going to kind of reupdate this of how you know the spoke, the app works and you know from that design into, you know, storefront, uh. And what what that will look like? So if I'm in the engineering software, you know, in honor of Thanksgiving or Valentine's Day, I'll do kind of just a simple heart design here. Right.

I'm going to do this out of a sheet metal, so I'm gonna thicken my part. It's going to be 1 millimeter thickness, 1 millimeter bend radius, and I'm gonna create just a few simple bends in this, so let's just do one bands creating my band line, and I want to bend this piece of sheet metal here. Alright, so in the design I can choose, you know the bend radius for example, and I'm sure you guys are all laughing at me to say like, Oh my gosh, this is like the, you know, worst thing I've ever seen. But it's for the demo. So what I can do and what's what's very interesting in creating you know configurations to really take one product and make it 1000 products is being able to parametrically configure your part.

So within on shape, this is the the CAD software that we've built spoke beyond. We love it. It's easy. It's cloud based. Never crashes. Umm, I'm just able to do some, you know configuration inputs.

I'm going to do a. Umm. A minimum and maximum bend radius. And I'm just going to configure this part studio here. Edit this and instead of saying a default, I'm going to add it as my configuration variable so.

Now I can take this away. I can remove the. Planes and we'll just like edit edit this appearance to to be like this. So now as I modify my degrees of this bend, we are saying my product just quickly, you know bending on this, I have a minimum and I have a maximum.

But you know, even if I wanted to do like. You know, very small changes I have that capability to do so. So then the interface that you know we are building and what we're very excited about. Is directly within the CAD. Again, this gives us the single point of truth.

I'm just going to, you know, fill in. Few pieces of information and this is essentially building out a online store online store, which could be both publicly available or internal. I can see this. Just gonna grab. And image. I'm just choosing the increments of a slider bar right there.

I'll say I want laser cutting. I want this to be out of a aluminum just to show kind of a render and for public facing documents being able to choose a margin. So if I'm launching a product directly from CAD, can single point of truth? The there are advanced controls for pricing, but the simplest way is essentially we take the manufacturing price that we're able to get from the services. We're able to add the designer margin to it, which is here and then we are. We essentially spoke the adds a a Commission on the parts and that products can be launched.

So, umm, directly here we're able to see this model we have, you know more realistic render. We have the configuration variables that will update that model in real time, right? Once pricing kind of algorithm gets gets going, we get the pricing for this and you know right there in real time we're able to see a configuration and a storefront. This ends up living on spoke beat and. Again, those products are can then be, you know, manufactured on demand. So as we get a little bit more complex to complex configurations, again this is our one that we're doing for elbow racing. You know, even configurating uh, things like the I like the color.

So you know, you could choose, you know, 10 colors or if you wanted to give customers the ability to modify. You know colors, different lug counts. By having everything parametric, we're able to have, you know, 6 lug, 5 lug, 4 lug, you know, intersections within this pocket, styles of a, a rally pocket or a pro pocket, and various combinations of this.

So again, being able to have that freedom to be able to modify and you know, check and then we're building a custom Configurator for these guys right now has been really awesome. So I am going to kind of leave it there, put a lot of information in that. But I think what's what I'm most excited to to hear or just you know, questions and thoughts. I think we have a very powerful software and tool here.

Something that, you know, I wish we would have had when I was at at Stratasys. A CAD link directly to the 3D printer. No bottleneck in terms of getting the files that you need that are 3D printable, consistent and frankly a digital asset that could, you know, last as long as you want to keep that product up. So I'll leave it there. Thank you very much.

Happy to happy to take some questions. Alright, let me just get this up real quick here. I want to put Max. Uh, that's one moment.

Wanna put Max uh contact information in case anybody does want to reach out. You get it full screen but I have Max contact information there on the screen. So yeah, so now we'll head into the Q&A. So if you do have any questions, there seems to be an issue with the Q&A. I couldn't get it to open, so if you do have any questions, go ahead and please put them in the chat and I'll ask them.

I do have a couple of questions here. So Mac will go ahead and start out with these. So what industries are sectors do you think stand to benefit the most from this technology? So if a product can be 3D printed.

Well, umm, we have the capability to to jump right in and I would also add laser cut. So, umm, that industry in general, I would kind of group together as like you know, custom manufacturing. We've also seen a lot of.

Traction within the automotive space, this is a lots of parts, lots of you know, hard parts without electronics. Umm, you know, certainly we can consider different electronics. But yeah, we're seeing, you know, automotive, industrial and manufacturing, you know, guides, systems, jigs, fixtures, tools that can customize based on new products. Those are the. Initial industries.

Alright, great. Thank you. Alright, so let's see. So can you talk a little bit about how you are linking to the manufacturers, for instance, are you only getting quotes from strategists or multiple quotes from other companies? No, we get multiple quotes from other companies, the. Really, when I was working at Stratasys, the the biggest challenge that we faced as application engineers, inspiring people to try out 3D printing was the the lack of. Kind of CAD tools within the communities that we were working in, we would sell dozens and dozens of 3D printers and they would have one person who is using an outdated CAD tool that doesn't create, you know, parasolid files.

So we spent a lot of our time, you know, designing and working with designers and updating designs. So the beautiful thing about just having a foundation in an engineering CAD tool is once you have the parasolid file, you know the step file. Certainly you can get the STL file or the three MF file. We can shop that around to manufacturers and service providers very quickly. It's essentially what essentially what everybody needs in order to provide a quote to, to 3D print anything and this. This goes from metal 3D printing to candy 3D printing.

All right. Thanks for that, Mac. So UM, just another quick question. So I saw the jewelry in the beginning. Is that is that like solid gold or is that is that something that has been printed and then plated? Yeah, great question. So one of the services that we work with, they actually will make jewelry out of solid well, 14 karat gold.

You can also do it out of sterling silver and then the process that they use is they'll take that step file directly from the CAD model. They they love them in CAD models as as opposed to, say, building something in in a surface model where you might have these internal geometries and they have to sit and fix it in the secondary software they will 3D print those out of wax and they will use those wax patterns to create investment casted molds and then they will cast in the 14 umm caret gold into it. So this is real real material. Very neat, very neat.

All right, so let's get another one here. Is this a manual connection to the manufacturers or are you automatically tied into their website? Umm great question. Currently, we're we're automatically tied with a few of them. Umm for us to get. The best price and the most kind of consistent. You'll finish of products.

We are doing a little bit of that manually now. However, the future is a direct connection. Uh, there are a lot of pricing algorithms that go into this. Every service Bureau has different prices.

If you guys are, you know, familiar with the differences of 3D printing with a fused deposition modeling or a fused filament fabrication where you have a a, A filament of plastic and you're printing it out, the pricing of that is a lot different from say a multi jet fusion 3D printing or a or a selective laser sintering process where with the FDM, essentially if you're printing one part, you can kind of gauge the the price of every single part. If you just have one, whereas if you have a selective laser sintering or an HP Multijet fusion machine. One part might be the same cost as AS2 parts and only just you know if you get 100 parts, you're per part cost out goes down significantly so. Depending on the material, depending on the manufacturing capability and the technology that's used the the pricing essentially follows different curves and you know those curves can have steps and we can incorporate those steps into the into pricing algorithms.

Alright, thank you. Alright, so it's about one more here. So, you know, look, think thinking about kind of what we saw the, the the rings changing shapes and things like that it is does the customer get customization go so far as to be able to add names or wording and things like that to your files. Yes, absolutely that. Cat. So design and specifically on shape and some other solid design softwares are very capable.

Uh, you know, most industrial products we've seen, you know we see today are designed in the software. So, uh, if you can essentially, if you see a product that's out there, the capabilities of these softwares can can build that. So find text pattern. You know various patterns. Can all be created in those very easily? Yes, and configured as well.

Aren't great. Thank you. All right. So I think that's gonna do it for the questions today.

Umm. So yeah, Mac. Thanks for the great presentation. Very, very powerful software, you know, that's gonna wrap up.

Today's 2 actually in our series I would like to thank Matt once again. If you do have further questions for Mac, please reach out to him directly. His contact information is here on your RX webinar screen and as a reminder, if you think you or your organization will be interested in sharing on the tax webinar series, you can go ahead and navigate to the American makes website and fill out the webinar request form or you can reach out to Jason Thomas at

Thanks very much and everyone have a great day. Thank you so much. Thanks for coming everybody. And thank you, Matt. Yeah.

Thanks for having me. That was great. Hopefully there were some people who learned some things and.

Yeah. Yeah. Appreciate you guys putting this on. Yeah, most definitely appreciate it. Have a good rest of your day. Awesome, cool. Cheers.

2024-02-22 01:41

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